Broken Wing

Walking back from the woods, I find you, a couple of spruce pine cones, squashed, into shapes that reminds me of a broken wing; feathers bent back at an awkward angle, tawny like an eagle or an owl.

My breath catches at the thought of death and destruction, of an imaginary bird, landlocked without the aid of one wing.

My heart somersaults at such a striking thought that’s followed quickly upon by feelings of blame lying at our feet.

Monoprinting

Today was a brilliant day for creativity and space. A dear friend of mine, Theresa Easton, artist and printmaker, saw some of my recent artwork on Instagram and invited me down to her studio to try out some monoprinting.

I wasn’t sure really what I was letting myself in for so I rocked up later than expected with my sketchbooks and notebooks and talked a little about my work and themes.

Theresa had everything set up for me and took me through a few simple techniques and processes to try out first to create colourful backgrounds to then build layers upon. This was definitely within my comfort zone as I found the layers created mimics the backgrounds I create for visual journalling upon. Nice.

Well I was just like a kid in a sweet shop and loved the time and space to just play around with colour and paper, with no expectations or deadlines or need to be perfect. I totally got engrossed in the process. Creating new ways to produce prints along the way. Ways I’ll probably not be able to remember or replicate. But am I bothered? No. Because today was all about trial and error.

It was a magical process;  simply rolling out some water soluble ink on a plastic sheet and then maybe rubbing some away with a wet one or scratching in some marks with a pencil or paintbrush. This process can create some wonderful prints once run through the printing press.

And then once I started to use some of my own images, photocopying then to etch into the ink or trace onto the ink, well I was in monoprinting heaven. And the beauty of the process is that nothing can be recreated. Everything produced is one of a kind, hence the name mono-printing.

I’ve come away now with my creative pot full, ideas a flowing and so many prints to work with through adding more layers to, sticking into visual journals, collaging with, or whatever. Once you know the rules or processes you can quickly and easily make it your own. This is something I definitely want to explore further.

Thank you Theresa for a great day out( well in the studio, really).

Black and White Studies

Today I started a new project which I’ve been putting on the back burner. A project which @beyourownbeloved hosted by @viviennemcm helped me remember. I think I was spending too much time and energy on talking myself out of it instead on it. As Elizabeth Gilbert wrote, ‘You don’t need a permission slip to be an artist.’ #blackandwhitestudies #beyourownbeloved #selfportrait #selfportraitureasmedicine #blackartist #blackwomenrock #selfcare #selflove #selfcompassion #creativepractice #power

Vision Board 2020

So I’ve spent the past few days digging in deep to create my vision board for 2020.

Using the free vision board guide from Makeda Pennycooke, I was able to explore my accomplishments of 2019 and let them go in order to visualise and plan for 2020.

It was a very powerful and useful process which I am grateful for and would highly recommend.

2020 looks like a time of creating space and light at home as well as embracing more travel and nature. Health and fitness feature on the list probably after the scare of last year but also realising that in order to achieve anything next year and beyond I need to be in good health.

Little Deaths

I discard boots before I hit the sand.
Dense turfs of grass tickle my ankles.
Raised veins single the cold.

White winter light under a wolf moon. Deep. Red. Heart.
The sight of seagulls.
Wingbeat to wingbeat song.

Stripping down to my costume
rich flesh graces the air.
Dip one. Slip one. Soon come.

Into the sharp shallows.
Howling with a hunger.
Dip one. Slip one.

Handfuls of sea slipping
through fingers towards
total immersion.

Welcome these little deaths,
to be born again and again.
Here and there and afterwards,

in solitude, as traces of you linger.

Living My Power

My higher-potential self is awakened.
I journey with great clarity and vision.
I am in abundant flow with purpose and high vibrations.
I am living my power.

— Lalah Delia

This month, my favourite month, is almost over. And I feel as if, for the most of it, I haven’t been present. I feel as if I’ve just been bouncing from one event, one to-do to another without taking a breath. If I wasn’t doing something for someone else, then I was getting prepared to do something for someone else. I’ve had a few moments of disconnect from self just because I haven’t been able to take the time to check in with myself. Or so I thought. I had the idea that I’m too busy for self-care. I was of the idea that I couldn’t hold another thing in my head that wasn’t contributing to the task in hand. Anything that I believed wasn’t adding to the event moving forward then it had to go or didn’t gain my attention. And this included myself, my own self-care and self-love.

Love is my word of 2019. And as we arrive at the end of October with just the mad freewheel down to Christmas and the New Year, I’m not sure if I’m further along this road of love, especially self-love as this is a practice that takes time and commitment. My self-love practice has been intermittent and practically non-existent this month. But instead of beating myself up about it, I’m choosing kindness. I’m choosing to be gentle with myself and to just start again.
“There is no beginning too small.”
— Henry David Thoreau

Writing and not writing: breaking through the trust

DC1B340F-10A6-41A6-9909-D9E8E6414FD5

I’m not writing.
Writing that sentence makes me feel a whole lot better. I’m a writer who’s not writing. I know it happens to us all so I’m trying to be gentle with myself. It’s the summer holidays and my routine has gone to pop and I’m okay with that, I think. But there’s still a part of me who’s thinking I’m a fraud because I’m not writing. I’m even finding it hard to fill a page while doing my morning pages. I blame routine but I know it’s because I’m tired and I’m not allowing myself that much needed rest because I think I should be writing and doing( project related stuff).
Read the rest of the essay over on my Patreon Page.